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Rated PG
Copyright 1984 Sherwood Productions
Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'

The Characters:  

  • Buckaroo Banzai - Peter Weller! Brilliant particle physist and neurosurgeon, he is also a martial arts master and plays in a band.
  • Lord John Whorfin - John Lithgow! Evil leader of the "Red Lectroids." Buckaroo vaporizes him.
  • Penny Priddy - Ellen Barkin! The lost twin sister of Buckaroo's deceased wife.
  • New Jersey - Jeff Goldblum! A cowboy at heart, this neurosurgeon partner of Buckaroo is joining The Hong Kong Cavaliers.
  • John Bigboote (Bigbooty! Hehehehe!) - Christopher Lloyd! Red Lectroid from planet 10, shot by Lord Whorfin for talking back.
  • Rawhide - Clancy Brown! (He played Kurgan in "Highlander.") Member of The Hong Kong Cavaliers, poisoned by a Red Lectroid.
  • Perfect Tommy and Reno - Two of The Hong Kong Cavaliers. Tommy has some serious bleached hair.
  • John Parker - Black Lectroid, sent to help Buckaroo save Earth before his people are forced to destroy it.
  • John O'Conner - Vincent Schiavelli! (He's been in lots of stuff, the teacher in "Better Off Dead" and the subway ghost in "Ghost.") A Red Lectroid. Vaporized.

Buy It!

The Plot: 

This movie has more famous people in it than most blockbuster films! Look at them all! Just look at them! What we have here my friends is a seriously out in left field piece of work. Buckaroo Banzai and his partners have just perfected the "Oscillation Overthruster" and it allows them to travel into the 8th dimension. Why did we miss all the ones between? I dunno! How can a 3rd dimension being interact on the 8th? I dunno! Lord Whorfin is trapped on Earth with a select group of followers, he wants to steal the overthruster and free all the Red Lectroids from exile in the 8th dimension. Then they will return to their home on the 10th planet and defeat the Black Lectroids! Black Lectroids are the good aliens by the way, they're also all Jamaican oddly enough. Need a romance in here somewhere so Buckaroo runs into Penny while performing at a club, she's the lost twin sister of the woman he loved. (She died, we don't really know how.) Well, the Black Lectroids can't let Lord Whorfin escape Earth, they are fully prepared to precipitate a nuclear war if necessary. They do have the courtesy to shock (literally) Buckaroo so he can see the alien's true forms. With his elite band of six shooting scientists, The Hong Kong Cavaliers, Dr. Banzai is able to defeat Whorfin and save Earth. Do you get the idea? What more do you need? Okay, how about Christopher Lloyd running around and everyone calling him "John Bigbooty?" Or Jeff Goldblume as New Jersey, decked out like a cowboy - he even has black and white spotted luggage. Gateway 2000 luggage! Watch the film two or three times, the plot is there...

Things I Learned From This Movie: 

  • Neurosurgeons shouldn't tug on things they don't recognize.
  • Rocket powered pickup trucks don't look right.
  • The 8th dimension looks a good deal like what you might see through an electron microscope.
  • New Brunswick, Maine is a tough town.
  • Aliens with bird like ships should stay well clear of Earth during duck season. Especially you, yeah you, darn Romulans.
  • Alien Lectroids have nads.
  • Hologram viewing glasses are made out of bubble wrap.
  • Girls: Never try to get intimate with some guy carrying a electric charge.
  • Bacteria can affect people via television.
  • Good aliens appear to hail from Jamaica.
  • Four star generals should not use the phrase, "I'm barely holding my fudge."
  • Alien thermal pods carry parachutes.

Stuff To Watch For: 

  • 7 mins - This is some serious high tech stuff!
  • 10 mins - Buckaroo is driving through a mountain?
  • 13 mins - John Lithgow is applying electric current to his tongue!
  • 23 mins - If Peter Weller was bawling out a song to me I'd do the same thing.
  • 32 mins - Somebody shut Penny up, damn blonde...
  • 48 mins - That little asian guy looks funny riding a Harley.
  • 50 mins - Awful lot of folks named John.
  • 53 mins - What the heck did the alien kill him with? Spit?
  • 60 mins - Yeah, why is there a watermelon there?
  • 78 mins - These guards don't notice a double decker bus?
  • 85 mins - Now that is a mad looking slug, um thing.

 Audio clips in wav formatSOUNDSStarving actors speak out 

Green Music Note buckaroo1.wav Buckaroo: "No,no,no,no. Don't tug on that. You never know what it might be attached to."
Green Music Note buckaroo2.wav Lord Whorfin: "Laugh while you can, monkey boy!"
Green Music Note buckaroo3.wav Lord Whorfin: "I wanna make a call to Mr. John Bigbooty at YoYodine Propulsion Systems."
Green Music Note buckaroo4.wav John Parker: "Wait a minute, I need see Buckaroo Banzai in person. My name is John Parker."
Green Music NoteTheme Song Listen to a clip from the soundtrack.

 Click for a larger imageIMAGESScenes from the movie 


 Watch a sceneVIDEOMPEG video files 

Video Clipbuckaroo1.mpg - 2.5m
Just a moment ago Vincent Schiavelli and Christopher Lloyd were sitting there, but now Buckaroo can recognize them as aliens from the 8th dimension! Lost? That's a normal reaction for people watching this the first time.

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Comments:Write CommentPages: 1 ... 4 5 [6] 7 8 ... 11
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #41. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by carbonware
One of my top 10 B movie favorites!. It's one the whole family gronas about if I pull it out, yet they love to watch it over and over. I wore out the tape and I am now looking for the DVD.
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #42. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:09:49 PM by Robert
Double-turds!  Steve & Devon beat me to the 'Brunswick, NJ' thingy.

The only reason I remember something like that is due to living in Central NJ all my life and BB being one of my all-time Fav flicks.  It still cracks me up knowing/hearing of Brunswick and Grover's Mill when I watch the film.

I've been reading that the cast knew while filming that this would be a cult-classic right from the start and most are ready and waiting to do the sequel.
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #43. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by SargeSteel
Perhaps the most amazing thing about this hugely entertaining film is the way director and cast sustain a straight face through so many -- obviously intentional -- absurd cliches ("The deuce you say!")and world threatening plot twists ("If it ain't one thing, it's another.").  Hollywood typically can't resist a confiding wink or nod to the viewer: "That was meant as parody.  You can laugh now." The fact that BB does NOT do that is one source of the film's irresistible charm.  BB is so inventive, densely written and internally consistent that watching it is satisfying to a discerning, analytical viewer (which, apparently, not all of us are) in a way that many pretentious "blockbusters" are not.  There are many clever take-offs and points of reference, and of course the dialogue is priceless.  I'm surprised that no other commentaries in this site have noted that one source of inspiration for the film, in addition to Saturday morning movie serials and comic books, is Doc Savage -- the awesome hero from the pulps.  BB is a terrific updating of the Doc Savage concept, and is marvelously entertaining in just the way that George Pal's Doc Savage movie, from abound 1970, should have been but was not.  BB fans should still check it out, though.
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #44. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Todd Phillips
*in Homestar Runner voice*  Dat was da best video-game I've evo played...

Seriously, this movie is a such a fun ride.  Great music, kick-ass story and one of the best casts of all time.  What's not to like?

"Laugh while you can, monkey boy!"
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #45. Posted on July 13, 2003, 03:16:56 PM by Mike
I have tried to expose everyone I know to this, but most of them are put off by the necessary half hour description to portray why its worth watching
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #46. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Tanglefinger
God, I love this movie.

Anybody who grew up on Doc Savage, like I did, has to love this movie.

This movie was responsible for one of the very few 'cool' moments of my life.

A buddy of mine and I were waiting in line for our third (or was it fourth) viewing of this film. This was in my semi-punk days and I was in my leathers. My buddy looked like the drummer in a prog-rock band, which he was. I was reading Scientific American and he was noodling away on his drum synthesizer, one of the first available as I recall.

I said to my buddy, "Hey, there's some real cool stuff going on in quantumn physics," and started talking about the article I had just read. He starts talking about stuff he's read, and back and forth.

The guy in front of us turns around and says, "You guys are plants, right?"

"Huh?" we reply.

"You've been planted by some PR company to make us think there actually are people like The Hong Kong Cavaliers."

I must say, it's very ego enhancing to be mistaken for a Hong Kong Cavalier.

But enough about me. This is a very cool, very strange and very funny movie. If you don't get this movie, go get a job in The Bush White House. They need even more boring unimaginative people working there.
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #47. Posted on November 25, 2006, 04:10:12 PM by Will Stewart
One of my favorite movies of all time, the only serious SciFi spoof that worked (remember "Starship Troopers"?).  The technology is hilarious, Peter Weller pulls everything off with a straight face, and the little points drive it all home.  Such as the glass screen in the during the Black Lectroids multimedia showing that has neat phrases such as "Points of Simultuneity" (sp?).  Yes, I saw it about 6 times; one has to see it at least twice to make much sense of it, even after seeing a short list of "Things you need to know before seeing Buckaroo Bonzai".  The sound track always moves me and is worth renting it alone.  The scenes swirl from  intrigue, fascination, danger, trimuph, sadness, and hope.

What a cast!  What a plot!  It was easy to suspend belief and just enjoy it as the visionary tongue in cheek scifi movie it was, positioned right in between "Airplane" and "Matrix".  From the first viewing, I was truly ionized...
The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai
Reply #48. Posted on September 12, 2003, 01:07:35 PM by Will Stewart
Oh, and the watermelon was in the vise of a Tinius-Olson machine, which is used by structural scientists/engineers to apply 100,000s of thousands of pounds of force on small structural material prototypes to understand how they deform and eventually fail.
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